It’s right there

its right there

At the age of 3 months, we’d noticed that Ava wasn’t taking her bottle as smoothly as she used to. Before, she would cry leading up to her feed and then once the teat was placed near her mouth she’d take it right out of our hands and immediately stop crying.

And so we’d noticed a change. When she was due a feed, she’d cry a little, but in the midst of her tears, she wouldn’t recognise the teat was inside her mouth, crying endlessly, even when it was resting on her tongue. She concentrated so much on crying, that she didn’t see the bottle was right there in front her. A few moments later, she’d finally latch on and begin feeding. We would chuckle, ‘Oh Ava, it was right there all along, you just couldn’t see it.’ And since having Rae, she too does the same!

Ping! Just as God does, He popped this thought into my head. How often do we not see what’s right in front of us?

So often we ask God for a sign, a bolt of lightening – something to show us the way or what decision to make. Often we can’t see it’s been right in front of us the whole time. Instead we’ve been too busy focusing on complaining, all the what ifs and busying ourselves so much that we’ve totally missed it.

Perhaps it’s Gods love that has been there for you to accept all along, but you’ve just not seen it. Your inundated questions, worries, unbelief and negative influences have got in the way and you’ve totally missed what was, and is right in front of you.

Perhaps you’ve been asking for a partner, but you’ve become so selective and consumed by the ideal person you’d like, that you’ve missed someone who God prepared and placed right in front of you. They were right there, but you just couldn’t see them?

Maybe it’s an opportunity, but you think up every which way excuse to not accept. Instead, you’re praying for sign after sign, praying and asking for an opportunity, and yet it’s right in front of you- but you just won’t take it.

I’m not saying we need to jump in head first with every opportunity, every person, or even stop praying for signs and guidance. Instead I feel we need to start tuning in more to God’s word. I honestly believe and can testify that the more we get to know God, the more you’ll recognise His loving voice. You’ll know what’s from Him, and what isn’t. Even when you slip up and make the wrong choice, God will help you learn from that and place you back on track.

So maybe, you’re praying for something right now; a job, a house, a baby, a partner, healing, to be debt free…? Whatever it may be, I feel you need to know that one thing you can be sure of, that’s right there in front of you- is God’s love. His strength, His unconditional love, mercy, grace and blessings are all there for you to take. He wants a relationship with you. He wants you to tell Him what’s on your heart and help guide you along the right path. I’m not saying all your prayers will be answered with the answer you want. Carl and I are living proof that sometimes God says no, then picks you up and places you back on the right path. Sometimes He says wait. You may make mistakes. But those mistakes or even the painful experiences you go through are never wasted. They are a learning curve which will help you make wiser choices in your future, be a comfort to someone else and empathise with others who have been where you have.

I believe once you enter into this relationship with Him- one where you work hard at it, rather than just when the waters are rough, that you will begin to see the other things He has placed right in front you to take and enjoy.

But without that relationship, I fear we will miss so many blessings, because we just can’t see they’re from God. We will continue to pray the same prayers, complaining and live feeling like God isn’t answering our prayers or isn’t listening, all because we don’t really know him. And so we miss the signs and opportunities we’re asking for. Perhaps because it seems to risky, its out of your comfort zone, you don’t feel you deserve it, it requires too much change for your liking, it seems to obvious and simple… or perhaps because we just can’t believe it could be from God?

Often there are things that He may ask you to do which are tough and require sacrifice, asking you to step out in faith, trusting that He’ll take your hand and wont let you fall. Do we miss those things, blatantly ignore them hoping they’ll go away?

I have. I did it on our calling here to Barrow. For 3 years I ignored the signs and gentle whispers from God. Until, those gentle whispers turned into a definite push in the right direction and I finally decided to listen and follow that calling.

That calling though, required sacrifice, massive changes and the uncertainty of what future lay ahead for us here.

And though I may never know why God called us here. It feels right. For some reason, God wanted us here- and that’s enough for me. It took me a while to see it and then act on it- but I believe anything God asks you to do, will be worth it! Perhaps not in the way you thought. Perhaps it wont benefit you in the way you thought – but my experience is that God will teach you numerous things in the process and will use you to impact and bless others! What an honour!

What is right in front of you but you just can’t see it? Are you really looking?…

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Modelling: Part 2

modelling

 

A phrase we’re all far too familiar with.

Sadly, it’s a word with many negative connotations.

To model, in today’s society, is more commonly associated with models of the body, face, fashion- to model the way in which you look…

Girls, boys, men, women, even babies.

Sadly, many magazines, billboards and social media, use these models to portray a beautiful image of perfection. An idyllic body, skin and features. The perfect smile, photographic-ness!

It all seems to be how you look.

And if how you look isn’t quite right- you’re edited. Airbrushed, highlighted and polished to look desirable to all.

But what if modelling could mean something else?

Sure we can model clay, we can design and create a model, let’s say for an architect in designing a building.

But the modelling I’m talking about, if done well, could have a positive and long lasting effect on society.

And it all starts from the moment we’re born.

What if modelling, came from those around us?

Modelling good behaviour, a respectful yet unique style, a kind demeanour, a positive attitude, fearless, determined. One that is selfless and humble…

What if, we as parents, as friends, aunties, unlocked, husbands, wives- all modelled such things?

And what if it were real? Not polished and the mistakes covered up- but real. Transparent and honest?

I believe, Jesus- was and is today our model.

A model, not of looks or advertising the latest fashion item (though I’m sure he rocked a pair of brown sandals pretty well!). But a model of life.

He modelled, just by being himself- how to live this life.

Let me ask you this.

Those of you with children- how many of you worry at their exposure to high criticism of weight, looks, career, hair style?… And if they don’t fit in, then they force a way in which they can, which usually leads them down a path of destruction.

Perhaps you have a friend who thinks they are worthless and unattractive, an under achiever and a failure? Who do they have as models to look up to? Could you be Jesus to them? Or could you at least try?

After battling with an eating disorder, I am even more protective over my girls and how they see themselves. And the modelling has to come from me.

My language, the way in which I talk about myself. How I dress and what I speak over my children.

Even a slip of the tongue comment of being too fat or having to do a massive gym session after eating some cake- I know all too well, can become a trigger of a downward spiral.

Because if the person you love and look up to thinks and says that about themselves- then why shouldn’t you?

In which way are we modelling Jesus? Do we try to cover up the cracks of Christianity? The topics people like to skim over? Or do we portray a real Saviour?

One where we can be honest that we don’t have all the answers but He does. He wants to be real to people. He doesn’t go with the latest trend… He’s steadfast.

He’s not fake and polished to look like someone who’s perfect… He is perfect. He doesn’t need fillers and enhancements, because there is nothing to enhance.

Just as in Part 1- what you model your children will copy. How you live your life, will be watched by those around you. And so what is it they see?

Lets change the perception of modelling into so much more than society uses it for. Lets use it for good, to teach our kids well, to model behavior and a kind personality, rather than looks appearance and fashion.

Let us model our best- what flows from the heart! And allow Jesus to clean your heart from the inside out! What flows out of you is beautiful!

Excuse the mess

mess

How many of you find that phrase quickly rolls off your tongue before guests even take a step into your home? That vey phrase acts like your ‘get out of jail free card.’ Whatever state your home is in at that point, because you’ve said ‘excuse the mess’ it creates an opportunity where you can relax once its said. No one can comment on anything, because you’ve said that single phrase.

Anyone?

The same perhaps if you walk out of the house looking slightly disheveled. Or if you’ve got young children- most likely feeling like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards after having flung together your greasy strewn hair into any bobble you can find, no makeup, probably a quick whip round teeth brushing (if at all) and you’ve grabbed the only clothes to hand which are probably the ones you wore yesterday, and the day before! And with all this, already feeling like a walking bin bag, you say ‘you’ll have to excuse me… I look a mess today.’ And with that phrase, you’ve covered yourself! Almost creating a protective barrier where no one can comment on your appearance, because you’ve already got in there first!

Since having children, I’ve found myself doing both of the above – ALOT! It’s like I’m embarrassed that my house may not appear to be clean and crisp, smelling like sweet heaven with freshly bouquet flowers and a bird tweeting garden. I’m embarrassed to not be looking well- dressed or appear clean and tidy. So I get in there first, and excuse myself. That way no one can make me feel any worse because I’ve already said all there is to say.

But you know, more often that not, I find the most popular response from people is something to the effect of ‘oh don’t apologise, my house is just as messy, I look a mess today too, I have those days.’ And all of a sudden it’s a relief to know that other people feel just like you. Other people don’t have it all together either like you might assume. Others all have mess.

And so it’s as I stood in the shower this morning, it dawned on me – we are all a mess. We are all gloriously ruined and broken. We all have things going on and we all feel a mess at times. Yet we also, excuse ourselves because of it.

We are embarrassed by our mess, be it our house, our work or the way we look that day because it’s not up to your own standards or to those you compare against.

It’s refreshing for me to remind myself, that my mess, and whatever that looks like for you- has been dealt with, it’s been forgiven. No condemnation and certainly no need to excuse myself or apologise any more.

And the same applies for you x

Modelling: Part 1

copying

 

“Watch Mamma” I said to Ava.

“Now you do it. Copy me.”

These are the very phrases I have ever increasingly spoken to my daughter Ava. She’s so easy to teach and I am beyond privileged to be a ’stay at home Mum.’

But it’s only recently that I’ve noticed just how much responsibility lies beneath those very words- watch, now you copy.

It is clear on a daily basis now Ava has reached 20 months, that she has learned and soaked up many of the morals and behaviours we’ve taught her.

On many occasion I watch in awe and am so thankful as I catch a glimpse of Ava feeding her baby in the way I feed Rae. Or when she gently wipes away drool from Rae’s chin with the words “been a bit sick Rae? its ok!”

Or a torn favourite- cradling her baby and in a loving tone “hungry babba, yeah? want some milk? okay, milk coming!”

 

Or…

After dropping her baby “poor baby, bumped head mamma, its ok baby, ill kiss it better, all better now” (just to clarify- she hasn’t learned how to drop a baby from me!)

I have to pinch myself when I catch these moments. She melts my heart.

But what is it that’s really making me proud?

Is it that she has watched and learned from me? That I give me and Carl all the credit and smile knowing we’re doing a good job?

The selfish and human part of me- probably yes.

But the main reason I smile is because I see her being loving, kind and gentle. Learning how to love and take care of others. I watch as she shares her food, giving each of us a bite. Or a personal favourite, passing a toy to Rae when she’s dropped hers, and it melts my heart.

I observe her forming beautiful and kind ways coupled with good behaviour (mostly). I see her learning to apologise and be thankful for the things she has.

And so it’s seeing these positive formations of my child’s character that challenges me to question this…

‘How do I do things? When she watches me– what does she see?’

I ask of her these following questions on a daily basis without even consciously thinking about it…

Watch how I do things

Watch how I walk

watch how I place God first

Watch how I speak

Watch how I treat people

Watch how I forgive

Watch how I love

Watch how I help people

Watch how I give

Watch

And copy

But what is it that she is watching?

Does she see me quick to forgive my husband? Or witness me sulk, bear grudges and speak to him in a disrespectful manner? Does she witness that I treat my husband in a way that they should treat their future spouse, friends and family?

Does she see me give all that I can and love unreservedly, or hold everything back?

Does she see me insecure and fearful, or confident, bold, courageous and brave?

What sort of role model am I being?

I’m not saying of course that we need to be fake. If we are generally an insecure person then I’m not insinuating, you be someone you’re not. But perhaps you could try to let your children catch a glimpse of the positive side of you? How you would love to see yourself? It may even catalyst a change for your own healing.

I’m also not trying to lay a guilt trip either. There is no way we could be the best we can all the time around our children. I’m aware only too well of the stresses and strains of being a parent, wife, and every other hat we wear! And how that can impact how we walk daily. Unfortunately, my girls have witnessed Carl and I share the odd word or two! I have lost my temper and patience on more than one occasion, have done things, said and treated people in a way I’m not proud of. So this is in no way a blog to make you feel guilty. And I don’t believe God wants you to feel guilty either.

But what I’m more determined to do as the new year starts, especially as I notice Ava repeating words and actions quickly, is to look at me. To look at what I am modelling to my children- and whether I can change that-now.

I watch Ava and she watches me. I have a choice to show both my girls the right or wrong way of doing things., and they have a choice whether to copy them or not.

And so entangled in this question, is a gentle whisper from Jesus.

Walk in my ways

See how easy it is

 

Now you do it

When I find myself lost in the person I don’t want to be, entrapped in bad habits and fear I’ll never change- I am reminded that I have a daily example. And I find that what I teach my girls is the best of me- the best of Jesus.

Often, the things I teach her, are how I desire to be, how I wish I treated others. Yet I somehow can’t seem to teach it to myself.

But, I am not hopeless or unworthy of help. And neither are you.

Because Jesus offers for us to watch Him. When we get lost- to follow Him. To walk in His ways when we’ve strayed and can’t find our way back or ways to change.

I believe Jesus took on the responsibility in human flesh to teach others the right way, the perfect way, of treating people, of walking this earth, being in relationship with God and caring for the planet.

We have a choice whether we follow and copy the ways of Jesus or do it another way.

In my parenting, and indeed when it comes to homework for example, my way may not be the perfect way. But when it comes to people, morals, loving, caring, respect, helping….

It all starts with me.

First I have to make a choice whether to walk in the way Jesus did and does today, or not. I will be the first bible Ava and Rae ever read. They will watch and copy my actions before they understand and can read the bible.

What a responsibly it is then, to make sure first, I am walking in His ways.

My girls will not only watch me when I encourage them – like how to use a spoon, or how to put a shape in the shape sorter. But when I don’t even realise it.

She’ll watch how her Dad and I speak to each other. How I react in a moment of panic or worry, how I speak to others… they’ll watch and copy.

Therefore, as parents, particularly a parent who knows Jesus, we must first understand the concept of how to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. Living in His ways. Doing His will not ours.

We must not only understand but waste no time in getting on with the ‘doing.’

Jesus saw a need and dealt with it.

Far too often I think we over think it- should I shouldn’t I? Am I over stepping the mark? Will they think I’m weird? Will they even let me help? What if they freak out? Maybe I’ll talk it over with someone else first.

We just need to be doing it. Our children, our church, the people we pass in the street, the people we work with- everyone around us is watching how we walk. They may not necessarily copy but they are watching.

How much of a significant shift would there be if everyone who watched, saw something different? If what they saw, were characteristics that made us stand out in such an extraordinarily kind, calm and joyful way. And that maybe, just maybe they wanted to do the same. Or find out why it is we walk in the way we do. What have we got that they’re missing? What is it we know that they have yet to discover?

It would eliminate striving to get people to walk through church doors as their first experience and encounter with Jesus. Because how hard is it sometimes to get our unsaved loved ones to church?

Why not be the church to them? Be the bible they see?

Don’t misunderstand me, church is imperative and inviting people along is so important.

But we are the church- Monday to Sunday- not just on a Sunday morning service.

We are the church people need to encounter first. For them to see something different. Who knows, they may then want to come along to your church and meet with others to find out a little more.

So I ask you this, as I ask myself the same question. What is it that other people see when they watch the way you live your life? If you’re a parent, what is it your chidren see? What will they copy? After answering these, ask yourself- is there room for improvement? I have answered that myself and decided, that for me- YES! I want to be the best I can for God, for myself, for my children, my family, friends and the list goes on!

What about you?

 

Hidden Insecurity

hidden insecurity

 

How many of us hide behind a veiled façade of confidence, strong and independent femininity? We are women. We can multitask, are confident in who we are, we play hard to get, never show a man our weaknesses…any of this sounding familiar?

Yet despite all of this bravado, what has become clear to me (and this is myself included or I wouldn’t be writing about it) is that we are often hiding behind all this frontage, all in an effort to hide a deep insecurity.

Something I struggle with only too often.

Yes, there are days where I feel confident and I can walk in knowing who I am in Christ. But like most people who walk this earth, I am not perfect and neither is anyone else- only Jesus can claim that description.

I have days where, despite knowing it’s unhealthy for mind, body and spirit, I end up comparing myself to others. I walk out of the house thinking I look okay, then notice someone else’s outfit and all of sudden feel as if I’m wearing a bag! How are they so good at putting outfits together? How did they pull off that look? I think my hair is just fine until I see someone else with a new style and wish I had the same. I see Mums who walk around like supermodels or Mother Earth- they appear to have it all together, stress free and still manage to do a million and one things in the day- why is it I haven’t managed that yet?

I see women who are incredibly clever, independent and confident in who they are (or appear to be.) I see woman who are naturally funny and have an outrageous fun, free and adventurous spirit- making me feel like a shy mouse at times and wondering why I too couldn’t be the life and soul of the party? Why can’t I make everyone laugh like they can? I see people at church and wonder why I haven’t been gifted with the same talents as them? Why can’t I give as much time to serve as them?

Now if I hadn’t entitled this piece with the word insecurity, I’m sure by now you would have stopped and at least thought to yourself (if not said out loud) ‘how insecure does she sound?!’

And you’d be right. It’s as I encountered a day of feeling insecure, that I felt God prompt me to write about this very subject. I’m confident that I am probably not the only one who feels insecure at times, and while I often like to keep quite a light-hearted approach to my writing, I really felt this was something that needed addressing. If it’s something I’m battling with, then I’m sure someone else is too. So, why not journey together and share how God is encouraging and building me up by reminding me of His promises, truths and love for me?

So yes, there are many times I feel incredibly insecure.  I need to remind myself daily that my identity is in Christ, not in the clothes I wear or the latest hairstyle/colour. Not in my personality or how funny I may or may not be. Not by the qualifications I’ve achieved, how clever I am or not- but in Christ.

I write this as it becomes a daily battle at times, to remember this very truth and not be consumed by all the other, stuff. Because it is just that- stuff. You know how I know?…

One, because I believe that God made every hair on my head, I believe that he made all my inner parts and knew me before I was born. I believe he made me on purpose and for a purpose, and he made me in my most natural state. Everything else; makeup, hair dye, clothes- are all just an accessory to accentuate my original beauty. Because, whether we see and believe it or not, we are all Gods BEAUTIFUL children.

Secondly, and lastly, it is all just stuff, because when my Daughters look at me, I see how much they depend on and love me- just for me. For the way I make  them giggle, laugh, give comfort and security that only their Dad and I can give.  How they see me at my worst and best, and how it makes no difference to their love for me. I see how they throw up on my nicest clothes and how they really don’t  care, because to them – they just want my love. The clothes on my back don’t make any difference in my capacity to pour out love on them. Both my girls love me unconditionally, and the person they’ll learn from and want to copy will be their parents. They will watch me. How I do things, how I speak and treat people. How others speak of me, and how I walk my journey through life with God. They will look at my personality, what makes me who I am and how they would describe me as a person- they are the things that will matter the most.

I would rather have my children, family and friends say about me that I was there for them, I loved on them, I’d do anything for them, I prayed for them, I welcomed them in, I forgave them…and the list goes on. Rather than; she was always nicely dressed, her hair was always done nice- always willing to try new styles, she always wore the latest trend, she was clever and had 5 degrees from university.

1 Timothy 2:8-10 and I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.

Don’t hear me wrong, I’m not saying you can’t take pride in your appearance and look after yourself. I’m not saying you can’t have an interest in clothes or indeed never buy any new clothes. I’m not saying you can’t get your hair died or walk around in a plastic bag- unless of course you want to! I’m not saying don’t study or embrace your aptitude. But what I am saying, is that we can get so caught up in these things, and more often than not- it’s all a façade, a veil covering who we are or indeed who we want to be.  I feel it’s a massive cover up that hides our vulnerability and insecurity, that to some is incredibly out of control.

I remember even when dating boys- I was told by many- ‘treat em mean, keep em keen!’ Never let a guy know you’re insecure, never let him see your insecurities or you’ve lost them.  While I don’t think it’s good for anyone to constantly walk around labelled with insecurity, broadcasting to anyone and everyone, I do think we need to start being a little more vulnerable. Perhaps if that guy (someone who you can trust of course) knew some of your insecurities, he could build you up and make you feel secure instead! He could make you realise that those things that are making you so insecure, really don’t matter.

Particularly as women, we are encouraged to be strong, confident and secure. We can do EVERYTHING- we’ve got this covered! And while I totally advocate that attitude, I also think  when we are trying to live up to this status, this level we should be at, we become so frightened of failing.

We end up becoming stressed and having breakdowns because we realise that, just sometimes, we actually can’t do it all. Instead, we actually do have things we’re battling with- like insecurities, pretending that we’ve got it all together and nothing bothers us. All of which, actually ends up breaking us down instead of building us up. And this is something I’m trying to find an intermediate balance with. Where I’m not putting on a front, but I’m not lying down and rolling over for the enemy to use my insecurities as a way of causing me to fall. It’s as I’ve wrote about in the past, a juggling act.

Definitely as a new Mum, I feel a huge pressure and responsibility to show Ava and Rae that they have a confident Mum, walking and knowing who she is in Christ. I feel responsible for teaching them to grow up with values; self respect, confidence, courage, independence, body confidence and developing a kind and caring personality while embracing and encompassing all who God created them to be… what a huge responsibility! Who says being just a Mum has any ‘just’ about it?!

And while I know I need to get my insecurities in check, I also want them to know that sometimes people don’t have it together all the time. There are ways to overcome your insecurities. I would of course never cause her or give reason for them to be insecure in any way shape or form, but I am also aware that we live in a fallen world, with fallen people- even you and I. I am aware that the world we live in promotes size zero than a healthy size, a specified fruit shape as oppose to embracing your own individuality, a ‘caked on’ face as oppose to au natural, boobs and legs rather than beautiful and maintaining self respect. And of course with all of this and more, if you are not any of the above, or don’t conform to those ways- that can cause insecurity.

I am reminding myself daily to look to Jesus, not to the world, others around me or what the world says we should be- but who Jesus says we should be. I am pretty sure it doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that we should be bothered about wearing the latest designer gear, looking a certain way or having the life and soul of the party personality, having numerous qualifications in order to prove our level of intelligence. What I am sure about is that he says we are chosen, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, we are to be filled with peace and joy.

I am reminding myself every time I feel caught up in not looking a certain way or having the same personality as someone else, or even feel unqualified due to my lack of certificated qualifications- that to be chosen, is to be individually and specially selected. God made me unique, and if we were all the same the world would be a pretty boring place.  I’m reminding myself that what my efforts, thoughts and concerns should be on is God, my children and husband. Not the clothes I wear, how I wear them or what I wish I could change about myself.

I am reminding myself daily to not only remember my armour, but to PUT IT ON! You wouldn’t just admire the clothes in your wardrobe, you would put them on! What good are they on the hanger? It’s the same with our spiritual armour. What good is it to speak them out, know of them, read about them and know what they can be used for but never put them on? I know of whom they are of use to- the enemy. Without your armour on, I’m convinced the enemy will tear down that veil and expose your insecurity where it knocks you down and causes you to fail, or even, make you feel like you have to live behind this veil of hidden insecurity for the rest of your life. God doesn’t want us to hide. I believe He wants us to come out into the light. Wearing our armour will keep us protected. It will help us to stand strong against battles of the mind and of the spirit. It will help us to confidently remove the veil of hidden insecurity and boldly walking in who we are in Christ. It will help us to walk in strength when we feel weak, speak truth when the enemy tells us lies; you’re ugly, you don’t look nice today, you’ll never finish that degree. Instead, you’ll have the strength to say, No! God tells me I am beautiful, I am chosen, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Ephesians 6

10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

I CAN battle my insecurities and any more that come my way, because I walk with Jesus, I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. He has chosen me and loves all what I consider to be an insecurity. I am confident that what I see within me as insecurity is what He will use to make me feel more secure than ever before!

Sweet sister and brothers in Christ, know that you are beautiful, you are chosen. You can be secure in knowing who you are in Christ, because HE is the only place of security you can totally trust and rely on. Come out of hiding! Hand your insecurities over to Him and let Him remind you just how awesome you are!

 

1 Samuel 16:7

But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”

Keep Writing

pen to paper

 

They say when you’re struggling to write, to keep writing. When you’ve hit a writer’s block– a wall that blocks all inspiration and the ability you once had to make a story come alive, to keep writing. Write about anything, they say. Easier said than done.

Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Excuses became procrastination and procrastination became my excuse. How could I write when I have nothing to write about? I always promised myself, and made a commitment to God that I would only write (and upload as a blog) when I felt God had prompted my heart about a topic that would ultimately help others.

I’ve taken my laptop with me almost everywhere lately, in the hope that I might catch a glimmer of time to write, or perhaps even finish an unfinished piece. But the laptop remained in my bag. In fact, it never even surfaced. My fingers never touched the keys.

Then one morning I woke different. This time I felt more adamant than before that at some point today, I will make sure I write.

Upon opening my laptop, my fingers touched the keys and my passion was reignited. Despite the elation at the prospect of writing again, I found myself staring at a blank page and no idea where to begin.

I realise now and understand completely why they always say – keep writing. So simple, yet can have a devastating impact if you choose not to. Just as a muscle needs to be exercised and used in order to not only maintain, but excel in its function- so does the same apply to writing. Writing is a skill, a muscle that must be exercised and strengthened daily in order to be used and function correctly- even excel in its function.

My writing muscle, has been hit with disappointment, faced with overwhelming possibilities and I have allowed those possibilities to disable my passion and flare to write. Those disappointments and opportunities have become the root of my excuses and caused me to question ‘what is the point?’

My writing muscle has taken a back seat and hasn’t been strengthened or condition to enable it fit for purpose.

I am experiencing the ramifications of neglecting this muscle and understand just why I have been encouraged, even when you are discouraged, to keep writing.

So here goes.

 

Tummy Time

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‘Tummy Time helps to build the strength and coordination needed for rolling over, crawling, reaching, and playing. Remember that all babies benefit from Tummy Time, including newborns’www.aota.org

 

How many of us feel like were lying face down, fallen flat on our face? We’re always looking down, unable to see ahead and it’s a struggle to lift our head?

 

As I encourage Ava to practice tummy time each day, I look on as she stays in pretty much the same position right now- still facing down and can’t quite lift her head up off the floor. She’s desperately trying to kick with her legs and attempting to push off with her arms, but hasn’t quite managed to move yet.

 

Tummy time is still a relatively new experience. She spends more time in people’s arms, listening and looking around rather than floor time. So as she approaches the 3-month milestone (where has that time gone by the way?) I figured I better start encouraging more tummy time.

 

When I read about the benefits (as I often like to do) I realised just how important tummy time is. In reading the benefits, I felt challenged to think about how this relates to our walk with God.

 

Although we may feel like we’re doing tummy time, all the time; the struggling, facing down, the striving, the attempting to lift our head and see what’s in front of us-  without it, I believe we won’t grow or build the strength needed to get through different seasons in life.

 

If we didn’t experience struggles, even occasions falling flat on our faces- perhaps we wouldn’t learn how to find the strength to get back up again; to try again, to see and to avoid, all the while learning from our experiences.

 

So often I feel we grumble and complain about the tummy times. We don’t want to spend time learning to crawl; to reach, to pull ourselves up, to develop strength. We want things now- to walk before we can crawl (or in Avas case, crawl before she can tummy time.)

 

We could actually learn by watching infants. I know with Ava, when I roll her onto her tummy, she doesn’t become frustrated as she tries to lift her head or kick her legs. Frustration doesn’t consume her when she’s not going anywhere. At the moment, she can’t move from the spot she’s in until she builds up enough strength to push off using her arms and legs. Instead, she keeps trying, continuing to push, to figure out which way to tilt her head so she can still breath! She has a focus.

 

She listens for my voice, encouraging and getting along side her, to keep going and praising her. Sure after a while she becomes a little tired, and towards the end, may become a little stressed when it’s time to stop. But she endures, and in the midst of what is quite difficult for her to learn, she continues to keep her joy. She keeps going.

 

She deffinately takes after her Dad who is so laid back he could fall over at times! But he too, always has a positive outlook, seeing trials and tribulations as a positive. He doesn’t complain much and never regrets anything. I learn from him daily and Ava is so blessed to have him as her role model.

 

Couldn’t we just learn from our children though? Their resilience to keep going even when it appears hard and they become tired?

 

How often do we spend doing tummy time?

 

I’m not saying we should deliberately place ourselves in trials or difficulty. But when they come, to use and view that time as an opportunity. An opportunity to grow in strength, maturity, wisdom, courage, confidence, sensitivity, forgiveness, love, relationship with God. To see how God turns situations around and uses them to grow us so we can have the strength to deal with what’s coming next. To hear His voice in the struggle instead of being drowned out with the endless comments of impossibility.

 

 

Yes, we will get tired. We may even become frustrated and feel like giving up. It may appear that at the time we’re not moving anywhere, still in the same place you were days/weeks/years ago. You may feel like it’s a struggle to even lift your head off your pillow some days. But what if we saw those challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Allowing them to build us up and strengthen us so we can begin to crawl, then walk and even run?

 

Take your time

 

I believe we need to learn to start off slowly or we’ll cause ourselves harm. If Ava tried to walk now, her legs would crumble and buckle under the weight of her body. Her legs aren’t yet strong enough to even push off crawling, let alone walk. She unable to support her back enough to sit up and doesn’t realise her hands are a useful tool to support and reach.

 

How often do we view tummy time as a negative? We want to rush things. Perhaps we’ve asked God for something and want an answer now, preventing us from being able to enjoy where we are in the waiting. We want that dream, that vision to come to fruition- now. We can handle it, we can cope (or so we tell ourselves, and God!) Well God knows whether you can or not.

 

Just as a child learns to ride their bike, beginning with four sturdy wheels, then stabilisers before finally being ready for the two wheelers! In the mean time they may acquire a few bruises and cuts, stumbles and falls but all the while developing strength, confidence, agility, balance, coordination and the ability to enjoy the ride!

 

 

Face time with God

 

Research suggests that a good way of encouraging tummy time is to lay your baby chest to chest with yours. Often referred to as skin to skin. This encourages the baby to lift their head to face yours and develops bonding.

 

While some tummy time is out of our control, I believe it is important to spend some tummy time with God. Humble ourselves to a place where we just spend time with Him, in His word, in His presence; talking and praying, learning His promises, and resting in Him.

 

Why not try some face to face time with God? I’m not literally saying you’ll see his face, but just really get up close and personal. Get real with your Heavenly Father. Lift your head up from what the world says you’re facing and look to what God says about the opportunities He’s given you, the blessings to be thankful for, what can you learn from this season? Fix your eyes on Him, instead of what you’re facing. Just as I do with Ava, look to Him who is along side of you, encouraging and praising you.

 

Enjoy the ride. Lift your head, grow and draw your strength from the Lord. When the world tells you it’s ‘too hard, too difficult, you’ll never do it, you’ll never move on from where you are’– look to God’s word and see what He says.

 

Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

 

1 Peter 1:6-7

So be truly glad.  There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.

 

 

 

“In order to build your faith, God will give you a dream; then he’ll urge you to make a decision; but then he’ll allow a delay, because in the delay he matures you and prepares you for what is to come.

The truth is you’ll have difficulties while God delays. This isn’t because he doesn’t care about you or that he’s forgotten your circumstances; rather, it’s one of the ways he pushes you toward the deep end of faith.

As God delays, you’ll face two types of difficulties: Circumstances and Critics. This is a natural part of life. God designed it this way because he knows we grow stronger when facing adversity and opposition.

 

God does this because he is building our faith and character. When we finally come to a place where the difficulties become so bad, where we’ve reached our limit, where we’ve tried everything and exhausted all our options, it is then that God begins a mighty work through us”

 

Rick Warren

Avoid complacency

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20 weeks in, and we’re well into our pregnancy with baby number two.

 

Another precious gift that God has graced us with. We are truly honoured and so blessed to be entrusted with raising two beautiful children.

 

It hasn’t all been a walk in the park though.

 

At only 5 weeks into this this pregnancy, the test showed positive and pretty much straight away, nausea kicked in.

 

Much like with my previous pregnancies, I expected some illness. Nausea in particular seems to be what grips me when carrying mini humans! What a treat!

 

This pregnancy though, hit a new level. I was floored.

 

Sickening nausea at its most extreme, I often wondered how I’d care for Ava from one day to the next.

 

Nothing helped, despite trying all the old wives tales and remedies. No amount of ginger tea or biscuits, anti-sickness bands, food or hot water bottles eased the relentless nausea that had come to kill, steal and destroy any joy I had left for this pregnancy.

 

It was horrendous and at that point, I could completely relate to how some women are hospitalised during their first trimester with this particular pregnancy symptom.

 

But there is always light at the end of the tunnel as they say. Sometimes the growing and preparation is the hardest right?

 

I knew, as with Ava that at around 18 weeks this would all ease- although sometimes it’s worse knowing a time frame. I remember hearing the midwife during Ava’s birth telling Carl I had an hour of pushing before the head would be birthed. Sometimes it’s just better not knowing!

 

Sure enough, 18 weeks came and I gradually felt the nausea subside. My appetite was slowly returning, as was my craving for sugary foods once more- Wahay!

 

Chocolate I had missed you! Although I’d been off anything sweet for so long, I had to wean myself back on it!

 

Then came the moment I’d been waiting for. The monumental experience that for me, makes pregnancy all the more real. It brings alive this little being growing inside of you, and very quickly brings realisation that this is in fact, a real person!

 

Those first kicks!

 

It’s an amazing feeling and shifts me from gliding along with pregnancy, into- WOW, this is really happening! In just over 4 months time I will be meeting this little person.

 

But if I’m honest, I have succumbed to a state of complacency more often than I’d like to admit in this pregnancy.

 

With Ava, everything was new. Every experience had never been felt, experienced or observed before. I’d never heard a baby’s heartbeat, let alone our own for the first time. Never witnessed my tummy stretch and swell day by day as much as it did going full term with Ava. I’d never had so many people comment on my bump or my pregnancy nor felt a human being kick, wriggle, twist and turn within me.

 

It was all new.

 

Yet with this pregnancy, at each stage, I knew what to expect.

 

And that knowing what was to come, sometimes caused me to be complacent. A bold statement to make, but I’m sure I’m not the only woman who has felt this way.

 

I attended my midwife appointment at 16 weeks and knew I’d get to hear the heartbeat.

 

Sure enough, the Doppler came out and the exciting words ‘lets have a listen to your baby shall we?’ were spoken.

 

I smiled and waited in anticipation. But I couldn’t help feeling in a state of complacency.

 

I loved hearing the individual beat of this little one and more importantly knowing that she was healthy and well. But, I knew right there and then that I’d slipped very quickly into complacency.

 

I made a conscious decision while waiting for the weeks ahead to come at feeling the baby’s first kicks, that complacency would no longer have a hold on me.

 

This baby is not Ava, nor is she Hope. She is her own individual person, created in Gods image and blessed to us by Him. She has been formed and specifically knitted together in my womb before I even knew she was coming. She will have her own personality, interests and characteristics. Her own pre-destined purpose and calling in life by God.

 

I made a decision to not allow complacency to creep in as it had been doing.

 

I choose now, to find the joy in all the moments to come before she arrives- even the heartburn! To embrace each little kick and flutter. To look forward with excitement and anticipation to the rippling of my tummy as she grows and all the other things I’m sure I’ve forgotten.

 

My love for her is not complacent because we have another child, so why should my pregnancy be?

 

I wonder what you’ve become complacent with? I wonder if your outlook needs to change? I wonder if you’ve been gliding along, knowing what to expect and almost taking it for granted as it comes?

 

Perhaps you’re facing the same challenge with your own children? With your first, every milestone was new and exciting. Yet now with your other children, their milestones or your reaction to them is one of complacency because you’ve been there before and know what to expect? You’ve become so busy now juggling more than one child, that moments of joy are missed or watered down. Perhaps you are robbed of a fresh joy in those moments. Joy is replaced with an attitude of complacency?

 

I’m convinced that if it is within any area that we need to avoid complacency, it is within the raising of our children!

 

Perhaps you’re in sales? You used to be passionate about your business, excitement stirring at every business deal. Now, one is no different from the next and the joy you used to experience is replaced with a numbing complacency?

 

Perhaps things aren’t good for you right now, and in all honesty they haven’t been for a while. Now you expect the same on a daily basis. You either expect things to get worse or just stay the same, but never any better. Any determination and hope you once had has now shifted into a spirit of complacency?

 

Maybe you used to reach out and help those within your community, a neighbour perhaps? Now you find yourself caught up in other things and presume someone else will help or that they’ll be ok. The determination and passion you once had to help, that fire and flare, has somehow burned out.

 

Finally, maybe you’ve become complacent in your walk with God. You’re in a season of waiting and so don’t bother praying at all now as you feel God will never answer. He pulled you out of your darkest pit and into abundant blessing, yet you’ve forgotten his faithfulness and actually have no relationship with Him at all now? Perhaps you just feel you have nothing to be thankful for or your life is so packed with busyness that any relationship with God is taken for granted and placed on the back burner? God will never fall into complacency in His relationship with you, He cares about you far too much. How do you feel about Him?

 

I believe God wants us to see things with fresh eyes. He hasn’t given us a life of abundant blessings to be seen through the eyes of complacency.

 

He has given you a life full of joy, love and laughter. Yes, we will encounter hard times, even more reason though to enjoy every moment of blessing joyfully, not merely dependant on whether we feel happy or not and avoid falling into the trap of complacency.

 

I believe complacency is a trap.

 

Complacency before now has robbed me of experiencing so much joy. Sometimes unwilling to have a ‘fresh eyes perspective’ and see each situation and experience with a new, positive and expectant outlook.

 

Waking up each day with fresh new eyes, willing to see every experience with a different lens, one that sees newness and enjoyment even out of something considered mundane, I believe will help us to avoid the trap of complacency.

 

Being thankful to God and praising Him for all we’ve been blessed with and how faithful He’s been, I believe will help us on this journey.

 

‘We, however, are so accustomed to the familiar sights and sounds around us that we scarcely ever take the time to contemplate these works of the Lord, in order to discover Him revealing Himself in them, and drawing us deeper into His kindness.

God’s kindness reaches us in the special blessings of life, where His covenant faithfulness superabounds toward us. Our spouses and children, talents and treasure, jobs and possessions, opportunities for growth and service, friends, special occasions — all these and more are blessings from the hand of God that produce special and enduring memories, causing us to rejoice and give thanks, and to recall the kindness of God.’ Crosswalk.com

 

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

‘Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’

 

I’ll carry you

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Despite a bleak weather forecast today, I decided to take Ava to the beach. Downpour was the outlook for the following few days, so I grabbed the opportunity of dry weather with both hands, and we got ourselves ready!

earnse bay

As we neared the end of the slope leading to the beach, we were greeted with a lengthy pool of rocks and pebbles. It was clear the buggy would have to stay on this side and Ava and I would walk across to get to the beach.

 

Bursting with excitement at the rocks beneath us (this girl loves them!) and the beach in view just ahead, I carried her across this rocky path barefoot.

 

Once we arrived on the other side, she ran on the beach (in true Ava fashion- what would appear a drunken walk) and made marks in the sand. Hand selectively pulled off every shell that made its home on a rock face and disturbed every beach worms hole by sticking her fingers down each one. She face-planted many water pools, and tried the delicacy of sand and shell combination by the handful! What a treat!

 

Pretty soon though, as the beach often does (method in my madness on an ever so slightly chilly morning) she became tired. Her legs no longer strong enough to carry her, emotions struggling to cope with the sheer tiredness that loomed, she reached up as only children know how, grasping at my legs for me to pick her up.

 

So I lovingly scooped her up, knowing just what she needed, and headed back to the rocky pool with the buggy in sight.

 

This time though, on this journey back through the rock pool, God stopped me in my tracks as He often does and reminded me of a simple truth.

 

I’ll carry you.

 

Just as I was doing with Ava, He does for us.

 

When we’re tired, weak, burned out, we only need reach out to Him, and He’ll lovingly scoop us up and carry us.

 

He’ll carry us across the rocky pools of life, where just as it hurt the soles of my feet, treading over sharp, uneven and difficult footing, He has and will forever take on that pain for us. Just as I didn’t want Ava to feel the pain beneath her feet or fall and cause herself harm, neither does God want that for us.

 

He carries us over and through the rough and smooth. He bears the pain and carries us through it, always helping us reach the other side.

 

It may take time. It took me a lot longer on the way back, desperately trying to find large flat rocks to balance on, but I got Ava to dry land, back to a place of rest. And it may take longer with God, longer than you expected.

 

He may take you on a different route. It may seem like you’ll never get to the other side, but God hasn’t put you down. Whatever you’re dealing with, it is never too much of a burden for God. He carries you always, and in Him, in those moments, we can find rest.

 

Reach out and Rest

 

Ava already began to rest her head on my shoulder, knowing that in my arms, she’d already found her resting place. She didn’t look to the other side of the rock pool where her buggy was thinking, if I could just get there then I’ll be ok. No, she reached up way back on the beach in the moment she was burned out, and knew once she was lifted up and in my arms, that I’d carry her and she could rest.

 

Oh if we only had child-like faith more often.

 

If only we reached out to God there in that moment, before we even arrive at ‘burned out’, striving to do it all on our own, knowing that He would carry us. He’d lead us across that rocky path, and in getting to the other side, we can already seek rest and comfort in Him along the way.

 

Across that pool, Ava wasn’t frightened, worried, hopeless or in despair. She trusted me that I’d get her across. She had full view of what was beneath her and could no doubt feel my imbalance at times, but she never once flinched or wavered worrying that I would drop her, that we wouldn’t make it, that it looked impossible with so many sharp and unsteady rocks beneath us. She placed all her trust in me and let me focus on getting her to the other side.

 

Oh how different our walk with God would be if we had faith like children do. Faith in our Father that no matter the outlook of our current situation, we are filled with a deep trust that He’ll get us to the other side. If we didn’t look at how totally impossible it might seem, or worry that God just isn’t big enough to cope with this one. If we just trusted.

 

How much more differently would we live? If in our times of trouble, tiredness, weakness, no matter how big or small, we just reached out. If we laid our head on His mighty shoulders, trusting Him to carry us across and through that rocky path, always with a plan in mind to get us to safety.

 

His abundant blessings

 

What a treat Ava had though when we reached her buggy. I had a dry set of clothes, clean nappy, her favourite snacks to eat and a buggy for her to be pushed in so she could rest her legs.

 

And I believe God has the same for us. When we get to the other side of whatever it is were going through, God has prepared a place of abundant and overflowing blessings. With the things we desire and are good for us. Perhaps something better than we even imagined.

 

So we don’t need to have a bleak outlook, we don’t need to set the bar low, with merely ‘I’d just be happy with this.’ Believe that through this trial God will use your pain for good, He will provide, He will bless your socks off, He will have everything you need and more waiting for you when you least expect it.

 

But reach out first, allow Him to carry you. Rest in Him until you get to the other side, and don’t fear or worry as He does. Trust in Him completely that He loves you, He carries you, He feels your pain, and he will somehow work all things out for good.

 

Isaiah 46:4 (NCV)

 

“Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you. I will carry you and save you.”

 

Isaiah 41:10 (MSG)

‘I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.’

 

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart

And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,

And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].

 

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Get to know your area

not called to be aloneToday as I walked home with Ava in the gorgeous sunshine, I approached a man blocking my path. The closer we got I realised the path wasn’t wide enough for him and the pram- one of us needed to move.

It was that awquard moment where the closer I approached the more I realised HE wasn’t moving anywhere!

In fact he walked towards me.

At first I thought- I’m heavily pregnant here, pushing a pram, dripping with sweat from a walk in the blistering heat and you choose to walk blatantly in front of me and refuse to move out of the way?

… I was a little cranky as you can tell.

But I soon realised he was walking towards me to ask a question.

‘I’m trying to get to Preston, do you know what bus I take? I’m not from around here.’

Embarrassment set in and if it hadn’t have been so hot he’d have seen me blush straight away. Thank goodness the sun burned cheeks disguised any blushing to be had!

Now you’re asking me! I thought.

I don’t even know road names and I’ve lived in Blackpool my whole life, never mind buses that go to Preston.

I tried to help him read the timetable and help as much as I could, but I found myself apologising every two seconds

‘I don’t get buses very often, I’m so sorry’ I explained.

I was so embarrassed. My home town, a stranger visiting and I couldn’t help him on his way.

It became apparent, as it has before in those moments when a car pulls along side you and asks where such a street is- again to which my response is always ‘I don’t know,’ that I didn’t know my area at all.

A total stranger trying to navigate his way around, asking a local for help, for direction and I couldn’t even give him that.

And so it got me thinking.

Do we know our area? I don’t just mean geographically, but do we know our area of faith? Do we know the area of our walk with God?

When we meet a non Christian, or even a new person who’s come to faith, have we grown and learned about what it means to follow Christ and are continuing to, or are we still as the bible says ‘ drinking milk’ still needing to be taught?

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭5:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Has being so spiritually immature and uninformed caused you to avoid potential conversations ultimately leading to people’s salvation? All because you feel ill equipped to answer those difficult questions?

I know I have.

I would have hated for that guy to have missed his bus and ultimately his destination today. I don’t know what the ramifications of him missing that bus he so desperately needed to Preston would have been, but imagine if we were talking about his faith here. Imagine if he missed that bus to salvation, because I was ill equipped or unprepared to answer his questions and point him in the right direction.

Imagine if he needed real direction, to hear the word of God? Imagine if he needed to hear words of hope, forgiveness and grace? Yet my lack of knowledge, lack of confidence even, and lack of knowing about my God would have meant he missed his destiny in that moment. Not for good I’m sure, but an opportunity might have been missed.

I know we can’t be held totally responsible for someone’s salvation or not. But I believe that we can have an instrumental part to play, therefore we need to be ready to have those conversations with anyone at anytime.

To be ready when God allows our paths to collide with another’s who doesn’t yet know him. To be obedient in going over to that person, or having the confidence to confront and answer the awquard questions rather than avoid or worse, hide your faith altogether, denying you even know God.

Upon confrontation about my faith, It’s something I was so afraid to do in school, college and even my early days of work, to admit and be proud of putting someone straight about my beliefs. Having a loving yet honest conversation with them about what God meant to me and what that could mean for them.

Instead I’d run in the opposite direction, dodge the question altogether or point- blank deny, all for an easy way out and to avoid any embarrassment or risk of losing friends- even the possibility of being ridiculed and bullied for my beliefs.

It also got me thinking though about the big move we’re having to Barrow-In-Furness.

How I’ve lived in Blackpool my whole life and never really learned much about our culture, statistics, the in depth need and poverty right beneath our noses.

And actually how important this is.

I felt convicted and challenged as we step out into this new venture and destination, to get to know my area.

Not just buses and trains etc, though that would be helpful! But to really get to know the people, the needs and statistics. To not only know them, but be instrumental in being part of the change. A positive change. Knowing what is needed. Where the gaps are. Meeting people and where they’re at.

How much more effective could we be if we really took the time to get to know our area, our community, even our neighbours? The nitty gritty. How much of a difference could me make if we knew all about our area and it’s people? If we really listened and, wait for it…ACTED! If we set actions into motion and fulfilled promises.

If we remained on the ball, always re- evaluating and up for change?

I wonder.

So my question to you is this?

Do you know your area?

Your walk with God? Could you answer someone who is inquistive, wanting to know more? Could you lead them to their destination of salvation just by being knowledgable of the bible and God?

Maybe you need to take time and really meditate on how knowing God has changed your life, what you’re thankful for and what you want tell people about? That’s your testimony right there!
And do you know your bible? We’re always learning and I am by no means an exception of this, but do you diligently make time to read His word? Do you study as well as read? Do you open the word to be fed, to just get to know Him more, to develop that personal relationship between you and Him, have scripture revealed to you- not only for you but for other people? Or does it go in one ear and out the other? Do your eyes skim over a verse, but like a hurried meal, you’re not really chewing the food, therefore gaining any nutrition?
Or do you just not read it at all? Does your bible sit there collecting dust?

And do you know your area geographically? Do you know the need, the people, the good and the bad parts? Getting to know your area may reignite a spark, a passion to want to get involved and not just make changes but be the change.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.””
‭‭John‬ ‭13:34-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬


““You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its taste, it cannot be made salty again. Salt is useless if it loses its salty taste. It will be thrown out where people will just walk on it.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:13‬ ‭ERV‬‬

““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬